Actual cost of living Argentina/USA

DA

Registered
This would be a good thread to post ACTUAL and CURRENT prices of cost of living since this seems to be a very important subject for people considering moving here.
I have recently been reading many threads here where the actual costs are way off today’s prices and this could cause frustrations for possible expats. In Argentina the inflation is out of control and the government is subsidizing less and less and in the USA prices are now dropping very fast. In my opinion the cost of living in Argentina will soon catch up to the rest of the world, or maybe it already has?
 

DA

Registered
Here is a few food prices, I would like to post more but I have to go now.
Please, if anyone has time post more actual prices.

Argentina Bread, Fargo all natural mix cereal pesos $8.35
USA Bread Merita wholegrain US$1.95

Argentina Butter Light 200grams pesos $5.95
USA Butter light US$1.49

Argentina Milk 1.5% 1 Liter pesos $3.50
USA Milk 1.5% quarter gallon US$1.00
 

Rad

Registered
I have seen some apartments on BsAs craigslist which have dropped their asking price. The prices don't appear to by going up anymore.

Here are median prices for US cities: http://www.housingtracker.net/
West coast is still quite expensive.

I live in Vancouver, BC. The median for houses CAD$660,000 and that includes all good and bad areas. 1 bedroom condo in a good area at least $200,000 and the monthly taxes+condo fees are at least $350. That's the low end of the market.

BsAs is still much cheaper.
 

HDM

Registered
There seems to be something of a fetish here for comparing prices, which is an exercise in futility, because most comparisons are simply not even across the board and vary wildly from country to country, city to city, neighborhood to neighborhood, and especially lifestyle to lifestyle. Most of this is the equivalent of saying I bought a new car in San Francisco and it costs me $25,000 USD, then I bought a car in Buenos Aires and it costs me $50,000 USD ... so see! But the SF car was a Ford and the BA car was a BMW. Is that relevant?

I have a lot more to do with my time than compare the price of one stick of butter in place X with another stick of butter in place Y. If I took the time to individually price each item I bought, there would be no life outside of itemized price sorting. I don't shop like that. I deal with totals.

This is what I know, in broad terms. Last year I rented a small (1200 sq. ft.) condo in the cheaper part (relatively speaking) of Georgetown, Washington, DC, for $2,200 a month. Here I have a luxurious, huge apartment -- at least 3 times the living space of the DC one and ten levels nicer -- for just less than half the cost per month. We drink wine with all our meals, which works out to a bottle a day for two people. In DC, we felt lucky if we spent no more than $250 a month for drinkable wine. Here that figure works out to slightly more than $100 a month, for the same amount of wine, but noticeably better quality than we got for that money in DC.

The cell phone plan I paid $48 (Verizon) a month for in DC costs me $10.28 (Movistar) in BAires. (I did get a deal on that, though.)

A nice dinner for two in an upscale restaurant in DC, splitting a bottle of wine, would average about $150. Here it is hard to get above $50.

A ride of some length on the DC Metro (you pay by distance, not one fare for one trip), would cost, varying depending on rush hour rates and distance, anywhere from $1.50 a ride to nearly $4.00 a ride. Here it is just over 30 cents, from one end to the other. One ride on one Metro bus in DC is $1.35, so that's closer.

Here's a place where I have found a kind of price parity. Starbucks. I am fond of Starbucks Italian Roast coffee and drink it at home. A bag bought in Starbucks DC costs me $8.00. The same bag at the Starbucks by Alto Palermo costs $7.30. Now we're getting close to something that is more expensive than the US, but not quite.

A Sony widescreen TV I just priced a few days ago at Plaza Alcorta's CarreFour was almost exactly the same price as the same TV I looked at in the Friendship Heights (DC) Best Buy in December. There's something else that is close.

I don't own a car so I have nothing to say about cars or gas.

A Ben & Jerry's ice cream cone with two scoops in Georgetown is $2.00. The far superior ice cream I had at a cafe today at lunch was 40 cents.

And where in hell did you find a quart of milk for one dollar? Somebody gave you a grand milk gift. A quart of milk is $3.25 at the Safeway in the Watergate, DC.

What is the point of this? How can you suppose this is appropriate advice for people contemplating a move to Buenos Aires? Any advice of this sort is wildly dependent on a thousand, tens of thousands, of unknown variables. Are you coming from El Dorado, Arkansas, or Honolulu? Are you living in a "mobile home" or a 4,000 square foot McMansion? Can you not live without a big car? Do you have children? One? Two? Half a dozen? Do you have any savings, marketable skills, speak Spanish, have a work history that is topped off by your college year as a McDonalds fry cook? Do you have even one clue why you are contemplating a move like this? Are you burning your bridges? How can any of us expats know these things about others as we hand out the fruits of our wisdom?

So, here are the fruits of mine. If you are contemplating a move to anywhere outside your own country, beyond the intelligible and known and familiar, forget all the expat whining and expat advising, and invest in a one-month stay in your chosen location; rent a flat or apartment hotel, shop with the locals, keep your receipts, talk to people in the shops, visit a few bars and a few restaurants ... then ask yourself, is this the way I want to live for the next X number of years or forever? This would save miles of grief. And for the people who find that they love it, would give them miles of happiness.
 

soulskier

Registered
Here is a cost of living update I did in September 2008. I think prices have actually gone down for some of the fixed cost items such as insurance since the pesos has weakened about 15% since that time.
http://www.livinginpatagonia.com/?p=759

Stanley, this is your cue to jump in with your 2 cents/7 centavos worth.
 

perry

Registered
Anyone contemplating leaving their country for another just because it is cheaper will be bound to be disappointed. The reasons should be deeper than this and based on something more profound than monetary benefit.

Remember Buenos Aires has been once the dearest city in the world and then close to the cheapest and now back to being expensive but I and many other long term expats will never give up on Argentina . Im one that will be here for the long haul.
 

Rad

Registered
pericles said:
Anyone contemplating leaving their country for another just because it is cheaper will be bound to be disappointed. The reasons should be deeper than this and based on something more profound than monetary benefit.

Remember Buenos Aires has been once the dearest city in the world and then close to the cheapest and now back to being expensive but I and many other long term expats will never give up on Argentina . Im one that will be here for the long haul.
You are correct, however it still does make sense to compare prices between here and there. I like BsAs for many different reasons and the relatively low prices (compared to where I am now) are a nice bonus.
 
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